By Adia Jildo
The Chairperson for Chamber of commerce Central Equatoria State Robert Pitia Francis has warned traders against the sale of expired goods for consumers stating that their consumptions are of great effects on health.
He said some traders are repackaging goods that were expired and selling the goods to consumers, which is harmful.
“It is not good for a trader to sell goods that are expired to consumers so as to get money,” he said.
Pitia stated that lack of capacity to check expired goods has enabled traders to practice illegal selling of goods that are not good for consumption.
He called on the standard of Bureau to start checking goods to help reduce sales of expired goods and cheating of consumers.
“Anyone found selling goods that are expired should be fined and license to operate should be withdrawn from them,” Pitia called.
He cited also high charges of goods by traders with intentions of making profit calling it bad practices by traders.
“Some of these prices come because of the illegal collection of money. Our appeal to our traders is that, they should not increase prices abnormally” he continued.
He said the increase in prices should be reasonable and same whenever need be.
“Everybody that goes to the market need profit but don’t cheat. You cannot give a price differently of the same price within the same day. Prices should be the same,” he said.
“We as the Chamber of Commerce are here to support the consumers and traders to have their rights. I urge the traders in the market and at the residential areas not to take advantage of the situation” he added.
Pitia called on the government to empower local traders to import food which will help reduce prices.
“If youths are poor, taxes will not be collected. We have enough human resources so that they can work, cultivate and create something for themselves,” he said.
The Mayor of Juba city Michael Ladu Allah-Jabu last week called on consumers in Juba city to report to the city council about expired goods ones they buy.
He said the case of the sales of expired good had become common and not reported.
He said some traders were repackaging goods and at times have stamps of trademarks and would easily change dates of the expiry.
Michael said only 1% of people check goods to know the date and its standards whether it’s good for consumption.
“Almost 98% of people have nothing to do with the expiry date of a packaged food commodity. Sometimes, they have expired wheat flour and repackage it with a new bag,” he said.
Michael said repackaged good especially food commodity can easily be identified by the fact that the taste of the products is bitter.
He affirmed that most repackaging happens in residential areas where mostly foreign and few locals participate in such acts.
Michael called on the consumers to report the issues of expired goods to help encounter those practicing in such acts.
Michael cited lack of machine and chemicals for testing the expiry of goods and standards of goods for consumption.
He said information on expired goods is realized by CIDs, quarter council and later committees formed to investigate the incident.
A consumer who preferred being identified by one name Stella said its time wasting to report to the City Council about goods that are expired.
“I will dump what I have bought and I have gotten is expired. It’s the duty of the city council to check for expired goods from the border to the market before consumers buy it,” she said.
Nagmaldin Mohammed, a trader at Libya market selling food commodities said that goods are likely to be expired if not checked properly from the date and its components when traders are even buying from the wholesale.
“We can’t buy a lot of things because they might get spoilt. If it has gotten spoilt, you will put it down and dump it later but not to sell. Maybe you will even sell it to your family if you resort to selling expired goods which can affect you too,” he said.
He called on Juba City council and the Bureau of standards to regularly check commodities to know their standard.